Unite, Britain’s biggest union, has vowed to fiercely resist Thurrock Council’s plans to brutally cut the pay and conditions of workers who have been providing essential services during the pandemic.

The very workers who have been supporting residents, by providing key services, throughout the current health crisis, are furious that they are now the target of proposed cuts of between £2,000 - £3,500 a year for refuse workers, highway maintenance and street cleaners.

Care workers employed by the council face cuts of up to £8,000 according to documents provided to the union by Thurrock Council. Meanwhile, the council has not proposed any cuts to the pay and conditions of senior management. Lyn Carpenter, the chief executive earns almost £200,000 a year

At a meeting between Unite and the local authority on 21 October, the council presented plans to remove a number of allowances which make up the workers' yearly salary. The union will now step up its campaign at the council and rally support to oppose any attempt to cut the pay of key workers who have protected residents since the beginning of the pandemic.

Unite regional officer Michelle Cook said: "There is absolutely no way Unite will accept any proposal to slash the pay of workers who have provided essential services to the residents of Thurrock throughout this pandemic.  

"Over the coming weeks and months Unite will be stepping up its campaign to oppose these brutal pay cuts which will leave key workers struggling to make ends meet. Unsurprisingly, the council's plans do not include any proposals to cut the pay of the highest earners. 

"The council's leadership has behaved appallingly since our union first legitimately exposed the authority's proposals.  If the Chief Executive Lyn Carpenter continues to sanction this sort of behaviour it will only make matters worse."

ENDS

Unite is a union that campaigns for and delivers better pay and conditions for its members. Unite is winning at work based on three core values. Secure Work: fighting for jobs and job security, Strong Voice: a union which is a respected voice at work and Decent Pay: a union focused on pay and conditions.

For more information contact Ciaran Naidoo 07768 931 315

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.